New season review: November 2015
15 December 2015
Both teams saw a decent amount of action in November despite the weather and late cancellations threatening to curb the amount of time the club had on the football field.
Despite having two games called off in due to waterlogged pitches, the first team took part in two league games and one cup game in November.
On 1 November they took on PWC in the league at the University pitches in Wythenshawe. Despite our Welsh wizard Edwards grabbing a goal, the club went down 2-1. The next week saw the club return to the same venue to face Sporting Manchester on Remembrance Sunday. Village took the lead on a muddy pitch thanks to regular goal-getter Bartlett but the opposition equalised on the stroke of half time. The second half saw both teams find the back of the net, Bartlett again grabbing the goal, to see the match finish all square at 2-2.
Following a week off due to a cancelled game, the first team were in action again on 22 November as they played their rearranged Manchester County FA Sunday Amateur Cup third round tie against Royton Athletic.
A strong first half performance saw Village go into the break with a 3-1 lead courtesy of a hat-trick from Holmes. As in the previous game both clubs scored once in the second half, meaning that Village progressed to the next round. The match ended on a sour note for the club though as key player Holmes broke his leg and will now be out of action for a few months.
The second team also had cancellation issues themselves to sort out but managed to play two games during the month.
On 15 November they were supposed to play Wolverhampton Warriors in a GFSN League game but the opposition had to pull out and postpone the game at late notice. The club managed to find other opposition in the form of newly formed Sale Spartans FC so they took part in a friendly instead.
Village had a lot of the ball and were putting together a few good moves but as soon as it came to the final third of the pitch they became rather profligate and either flashed shots high or wide or tamely at the opposition keeper. The opposition started to grow into the game and began to have a few chances of their own and they grabbed the lead as they took advantage of a sluggish defending to finish past Baker.
Sale Spartans continued to look dangerous at the start of the second half but the second team soon wrestled control back and began to lay siege the opposition’s goal for the last 20-25 minutes. Village were pressing high up the pitch, keeping the opposition penned in but it continued to be the same story of wastefulness in front of goal until Sanna – who was making his debut for the club – finally produced the goods with 15 minutes left. Despite going in search of the winner, Village were unable to hit the back of the net again and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
On 28 November the second team headed north of the border to take on HotScots in Edinburgh in the inaugural Northern Cup. The team’s plans were rocked in the week running up to the game as their captain Holmes was out with a broken leg and keeper Baker had to pull out at the last minute.
Still, the team took to the pitch full of confidence and this confidence was found to be correct as they took the lead. A corner was cleared to McPherson and his scuffed shot fell directly to the feet of fellow Northern Irishman C Hayes who expertly curled the ball into the top right of the net. However, the weather – as well as Village Manchester’s fortunes – started to take a turn for the worse as a freezing wind and constant downpour were accompanied by two quick goals from the Scottish hosts.
The game was still in the balance and the next goal would be crucial. The last 20 minutes of the first half were quite poor for Village but the team’s second half display was markedly improved and saw them put together a lot of good work with a lot of composed and creative displays. However, the team’s lack of a dedicated keeper was exposed in the second half when McPherson replaced Brodie in goal. The manager, who moved from central defence, was unable to hold on to a soft free kick and an onrushing HotScot poked the rebound home. The home side got a fourth as a suspiciously looking offside player squared the ball to a Scottish striker six yards out. McPherson raced out to put the striker off but the referee adjudged that he had fouled the striker whilst doing so. From the resulting spot kick McPherson was sent the wrong way.
Village got the goal their second half performance deserved as Brodie calmly slotted home to grab his first goal for the club. Any hope of a comeback was soon snuffed out though as HotScots grabbed their fifth and final goal of the game. McPherson came to the edge of his box to close down an attack but the alert attacker squared to his team mate. The keeper began to close the other attacker down then started to back peddle. The striker chipped the keeper but his attempt was cleared off the line by Hammond. Unfortunately, the clearance went directly up in the air and a Scottish attacker powered the ball home with his head.
So it was again a mixed bag results-wise for the club but lots of positives to take forward.